Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:46 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:23 pm
A technical information: may you say by which particular software, for example Ben, is able to create these graphics, as this:

Image

Very thanks for this in advance.
I just use this online app: https://www.draw.io.
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:02 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:46 am
I just use this online app: https://www.draw.io.
Thanks!
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Jax » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:42 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:07 pm
Jax wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:10 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:46 am
Secret Alias wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:56 am
Also don't forget to ignore the NIV translation of Joel 2:23 to rediscover the existence of an epithet 'son of Zion' or in this case sons of Zion. The Samaritans are the sons of Joseph.
Not sure why anyone would be using the NIV.
I use mine to highlight interpolations in Paul's letters for quick reference. It's a cheep paperback that I got for 50 cents at a discount store. 8-)
Totally a different story there. :) I have used an old KJV before to do much the same sort of thing.
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:18 pm

Tangential to the topic is the case of a reduction of status for Joseph, from being the true father of Jesus to be the mere "carpenter" (that in my opinion is a denigrative term addressing the demiurge) of which Jesus is now the (redeemed) son. This has some parallelisms with the way the demiurge is sanitized to become gradually the supreme god. Even if it was all a later phenomenon, it is interesting to observe how a gnostic could be persuaded gradually to become catholic (before Costantin, I mean). Sabaoth was converted and he was freed from the evil influence of the his father, Yaldabaoth. Hence there are now a good demiurge (Sabaoth) and an evil demiurge (Yaldabaoth). Idem for Jesus: he is not more the son/Messiah of Joseph but he becomes now the son/Messiah of David. He is not more the "carpenter" himself, but the "son of the carpenter", since the carpenter (=demiurge) now becomes Joseph alone. Joseph may be Joseph from Arimathea (Arhiman?)
and in such role he is a negative figure insofar the his goal is to bury forever Jesus in the tomb. He was expecting the kingdom of God but he wasn't expecting the resurrection of Jesus, because otherwise there was no need of a burial by him. I can imagine a Judaizer who invented Joseph to allegorize the previous evil image of the demiurge, and a davidic Jesus to allegorize the version of a sanitized demiurge as the supreme god.

Alphaios may mean: Alpha, the first Greek symbol, hence "James son of Alpheus" is just the son of Joseph, the original father of Jesus. Arimathea, "ha-ramathaim" means something akin to "the high place" coming from the root word "rum" meaning height or loftiness. Hence it is implicit the idea of an emptying himself by Joseph from the his previous high status: he is the demiurge who has to decrease while Jesus has to increase. Translated in Judaizing terms: he is the messiah ben Joseph who has to leave room for the Jesus Nazarene, i.e. ben David.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:05 am

Yet another round of speculation....

There is perhaps another southward drift having to do with the cluster of topics introduced in this thread.

Erstwhile (?) forum poster spin has long commented on how Jesus being a Nazarene/Nazoraean is not easily derived from the town of Nazareth. For example:
spin wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:51 am
The connection between Jesus and Samson the Nazirite is strong in both Mt and Mk. We therefore need to consider it when dealing with Mk 1:24. The facile connection between "Nazarene" and "Nazareth" may function in English and Greek, but the town name is spelled differently in Hebrew (נצרת NCRT): there is no equivalent to the zeta/zed, so we cannot easily connect the Greek to the Hebrew, though we have a strong connection between "Nazirite" and "Nazarene" via Mk 1:24. The second letter in the Hebrew town name is tsade, which is almost always transliterated as a sigma in Greek. In fact one scholar a century ago, F.C. Burkitt, could only find ten examples of tsade -> zeta in the entire Hebrew/Greek corpus, most of which he put down to error. When scholars comment on the anomalous zeta, they always unknowingly point to a few of Burkitt's examples without considering how empty-handed they are. The Nazirite connection explains the fact that every form in Greek contains a zeta rather than the preferred sigma for a נצרת source. Obviously, these terms are not derived from the Hebrew name of Nazareth. And that's a bullet to the head of the usual explanation of all these terms.
While there are examples of the Hebrew tsade being transliterated as a zeta in Greek, as spin mentions, they are rare. Far more common is the transliteration of the Hebrew tsade as a Greek zeta.

We know from a Hebrew inscription discovered at Caesarea Maritima in 1962 that the town of Nazareth is spelled with a tsade (נצרת); hence it probably ought to come out as Nasareth (Νασαρέτ) instead of as Nazareth (Ναζαρέτ). Therefore, spin hypothesizes, Jesus was originally called a Nazarene for reasons other than the place name Nasareth, and that the name of the town in the gospels was a back formation from this alternate derivation. He associates Jesus the Nazarene (Ναζαρηνός) with Samson the Nazir/Nazirite (נזר, consecrated one), since the Hebrew zayin most commonly comes out as a Greek zeta in transliteration.

There may be another source for Jesus being a Nazir (נזר/נזיר) besides Samson, even though that connection is somewhat obvious in Matthew (2.23: "he shall be called a Nazoraean," probably alluding at least to Judges 13.5, 7) and perhaps hinted at in Mark (1.24: "the holy one of God" = one consecrated to God?). In this thread I have been exploring possible connections between Jesus and the expected Messiah ben Joseph/Ephraim or Joshua Messiah, and what catches my eye is that the blessings on Joseph happen to describe him as a Nazir!

Genesis 49.22-26: 22 "Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; its branches run over a wall. 23 The archers bitterly attacked him, and shot at him and harassed him; 24 but his bow remained firm, and his arms were agile, from the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), 25 from the God of your father who helps you, and by the Almighty who blesses you With blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. 26 The blessings of your father have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; may they be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of the one consecrated among his brothers [Masoretic: וּלְקָדְקֹד נְזִיר אֶחָיו; LXX: καὶ ἐπὶ κορυφῆς ὧν ἡγήσατο ἀδελφῶν; Vulgate: et in vertice Nazarei inter fratres suos]."

Deuteronomy 33.13-17: 13 Of Joseph he said, "Blessed of Yahweh be his land, with the choice things of heaven, with the dew, and from the deep lying beneath, 14 and with the choice yield of the sun, and with the choice produce of the months; 15 and with the best things of the ancient mountains, and with the choice things of the everlasting hills, 16 and with the choice things of the earth and its fullness, and the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush. Let it come to the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of the one consecrated among his brothers [Masoretic: וּלְקָדְקֹד נְזִיר אֶחָיו; LXX: καὶ ἐπὶ κορυφῆς δοξασθεὶς ἐν ἀδελφοῖς; Vulgate: et super verticem Nazarei inter fratres suos]. 17 As the firstborn of his ox, majesty is his, and his horns are the horns of the wild ox; with them he will push the peoples, all at once, to the ends of the earth. And those are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and those are the thousands of Manasseh."

Since Joseph was a consecrated one (a Nazir), perhaps the Nazarenes/Nazoraeans were northern (Galilean or possibly Samarian) sectarians dedicated to preserving his legacy by setting themselves apart and by looking for the appearance of the eschatological figure expected from his line. This connection was lost once the traditions migrated southward to Judea, whose sectarian inhabitants had to guess what lay behind the term, and to whom the town of Nasareth presented itself.

I would also point out that this connection is also probably stronger than any perceived original connection between Jesus being the branch of Isaiah 11.1 and Jesus being a Nazir, since of course the word for branch in Isaiah 11.1 is נצר, which bears the tsade which ought to come out as a sigma. Not only that, but the usual term for the expected "branch" was actually a different one altogether in the Hebrew scriptures:

Jeremiah 23.5: 5 "Behold, the days are coming," declares Yahweh, "When I will raise up for David a righteous branch [צֶמַח]; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land."

Jeremiah 33.15: 15 "In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous branch [צֶמַח] of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth."

Zechariah 3.8: 8 "Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you — indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the branch [צֶמַח]...."

Zechariah 6.12: 12 "Then say to him, 'Thus says Yahweh of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch [צֶמַח], for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of Yahweh."'"

I suggest that, just as northern Galilean appearances became southern Judean appearances in the stream of tradition, and just as, ex hypothesi, Jesus the northern Messiah ben Joseph became Jesus the southern Messiah ben David, so too the Nazarenes were originally northern Josephites whose etymological origins were recast in southern traditions because the Josephite connection was not understood.

Ben.

PS: Here are the other passages involving the Hebrew term נזר/נזיר:

Numbers 6.1-21: 1 Again Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to dedicate himself to Yahweh, 3 he shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes. 4 All the days of his separation he shall not eat anything that is produced by the grape vine, from the seeds even to the skin. 5 All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to Yahweh; he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long. 6 All the days of his separation to Yahweh he shall not go near to a dead person. 7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father or for his mother, for his brother or for his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head. 8 All the days of his separation he is holy to Yahweh. 9 But if a man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his dedicated head of hair, then he shall shave his head on the day when he becomes clean; he shall shave it on the seventh day. 10 Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting. 11 The priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him concerning his sin because of the dead person. And that same day he shall consecrate his head, 12 and shall dedicate to Yahweh his days as a Nazirite, and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering; but the former days will be void because his separation was defiled. 13 Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall bring the offering to the doorway of the tent of meeting. 14 He shall present his offering to Yahweh: one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering and one ewe-lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering and one ram without defect for a peace offering, 15 and a basket of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil, along with their grain offering and their drink offering. 16 Then the priest shall present them before Yahweh and shall offer his sin offering and his burnt offering. 17 He shall also offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh, together with the basket of unleavened cakes; the priest shall likewise offer its grain offering and its drink offering. 18 The Nazirite shall then shave his dedicated head of hair at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and take the dedicated hair of his head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings. 19 The priest shall take the ram's shoulder when it has been boiled, and one unleavened cake out of the basket and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his dedicated hair. 20 Then the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before Yahweh. It is holy for the priest, together with the breast offered by waving and the thigh offered by lifting up; and afterward the Nazirite may drink wine.' 21 This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to Yahweh according to his separation, in addition to what else he can afford; according to his vow which he takes, so he shall do according to the law of his separation."

Judges 13.1-25: 1 Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of Yahweh, so that Yahweh gave them into the hands of the Philistines forty years. 2 There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children. 3 Then the angel of Yahweh appeared to the woman and said to her, "Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. 4 Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. 5 For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines." 6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, "A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. And I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. 7 But he said to me, 'Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.'" 8 Then Manoah entreated Yahweh and said, "O Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born." 9 God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field, but Manoah her husband was not with her. 10 So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, "Behold, the man who came the other day has appeared to me." 11 Then Manoah arose and followed his wife, and when he came to the man he said to him, "Are you the man who spoke to the woman?" And he said, "I am." 12 Manoah said, "Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy's mode of life and his vocation?" 13 So the angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, "Let the woman pay attention to all that I said. 14 She should not eat anything that comes from the vine nor drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; let her observe all that I commanded." 15 Then Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, "Please let us detain you so that we may prepare a young goat for you." 16 The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, "Though you detain me, I will not eat your food, but if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to Yahweh." For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of Yahweh. 17 Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, "What is your name, so that when your words come to pass, we may honor you?" 18 But the angel of Yahweh said to him, "Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?" 19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering and offered it on the rock to Yahweh, and He performed wonders while Manoah and his wife looked on. 20 For it came about when the flame went up from the altar toward heaven, that the angel of Yahweh ascended in the flame of the altar. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground. 21 Now the angel of Yahweh did not appear to Manoah or his wife again. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of Yahweh. 22 So Manoah said to his wife, "We will surely die, for we have seen God." 23 But his wife said to him, "If Yahweh had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have let us hear things like this at this time." 24 Then the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson; and the child grew up and Yahweh blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of Yahweh began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges 16.15-17: 15 Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is." 16 It came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death. 17 So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, "A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any other man."

Lamentations 4.7: 7 Her consecrated ones [Masoretic: נְזִירֶיהָ; OG: Ναζιραῖοι; Vulgate: Nazarei] were purer than snow; they were whiter than milk; they were more ruddy in body than corals; their polishing was like lapis lazuli.

Amos 2.11-12: 11 "Then I raised up some of your sons to be prophets and some of your young men to be Nazirites. Is this not so, O sons of Israel?" declares Yahweh. "But you made the Nazirites drink wine, and you commanded the prophets saying, 'You shall not prophesy!'"

Also, vines are called "consecrated" or "untrimmed" using the same term in Leviticus 25.5, 11.

Finally, here are a few stray notes of mine, simply to help me keep things straight:

tsade (usually rendered as a Greek sigma)

נצר = branch (Isaiah 11.1)
נצר = watch, guard, keep (Psalm 12.7)
נצרת = Nasareth (in the inscription)
נוצרים = Mishnaic Hebrew term for Christians (נוֹצְרִי)

zayin (usually rendered as a Greek zeta)

נזר/נזיר = consecrated one (Nazirite)

Ναζιρ θεοῦ (Judges 13.5; Alexandrinus: Ναζιραῖον... τῷ θεῷ)
ἅγιον θεοῦ (Judges 13.7; Alexandrinus: Ναζιραῖον θεοῦ)
ἅγιος θεοῦ (Judges 16.17; Alexandrinus: Ναζιραῖος θεοῦ)
Ναζιραίους (1 Maccabees 3.49)
Ναζιραῖοι (Lamentations 4.7)

F. C. Burkitt, The Syriac Forms of New Testament Proper Names, page 16: The Syriac texts, without exception, have נצרת, vocalized Nāṣrath in the Peshitta. The adjectives, Ναζαρηνός and Ναζωραῖος, are rendered by נצריא.

Isaiah 49.6: He says, “It is too light a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones [נְצוּרֵ֥י] of Israel; I will also make You a light to the nations so that My salvation may be unto the end of the earth.”

Isaiah 60.21: “Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the land forever, the branch [נֵ֧צֶר] of His planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified.”

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by John2 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:49 pm

Ben wrote:
I suggest that, just as northern Galilean appearances became southern Judean appearances in the stream of tradition, and just as, ex hypothesi, Jesus the northern Messiah ben Joseph became Jesus the southern Messiah ben David, so too the Nazarenes were originally northern Josephites whose etymological origins were recast in southern traditions because the Josephite connection was not understood.

You're on a roll lately, Ben. The way you've been putting things has been pleasingly well put and this is no exception.
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:08 pm

John2 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:49 pm
Ben wrote:
I suggest that, just as northern Galilean appearances became southern Judean appearances in the stream of tradition, and just as, ex hypothesi, Jesus the northern Messiah ben Joseph became Jesus the southern Messiah ben David, so too the Nazarenes were originally northern Josephites whose etymological origins were recast in southern traditions because the Josephite connection was not understood.

You're on a roll lately, Ben. The way you've been putting things has been pleasingly well put and this is no exception.
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:35 pm

There is what appears to be a summary of the Genesis Rabbah on Sacred Texts, and part of it reads:

During the twenty-two years that Joseph was separated from his brethren neither he nor they had tasted wine; hence they were somewhat overcome by drinking wine at the banquet to which he invited them in Egypt.

A bit of online searching yields a chapter from one of my favorite authors, one which I had not read yet, in which he compares a rabbinical tradition about Joseph to a statement made by Jesus at the Last Supper:

Roger David Aus, "Jesus as a Nazirite in Mark 14:25," in Searching the Scriptures: Studies in Context and Intertextuality, edited by Craig A. Evans & Jeremiah J. Johnston, page 95: Genesis Rabbah Vayyigash 93/7 first comments on the five portions of Benjamin noted above. It then continues regarding Gen 43:34b, “And they drank, and they became intoxicated with him”: R. Isaac of Magdala said in the name of R. Yehudah ha-Nasi: “From the day that Joseph was separated (פֵּרֵישׁ) from his brothers, they drank no wine until that day, for they all abstained (נזרו) from wine. Joseph too drank no wine until that day, but abstained (נזר) from wine, as it says: ‘And on the crown of the head of him who was a Nazirite (נְזִיר, construct) through his brothers’ (49:26).”

Matthew 26.29: 29 “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in the kingdom of My Father.”

Mark 14.25: 25 “Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Both Joseph and Jesus seem to have been portrayed as having fulfilled a sort of Nazirite vow not to drink wine for a certain amount of time, a vow broken only at a banquet (the reunion meal between Joseph and his brothers & the messianic meal between Jesus and all believers).
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:59 pm

I may have alluded to this connection before, but just in case:

Genesis 49.22-23: 22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; its branches run over a wall. 23 The archers bitterly attacked him, and shot at him and harassed him.”

Zechariah 12.10: “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”

Targum Tosefta, Zechariah 12.10: “I will place a spirit of true prophecy and prayerfulness upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Judah. Afterwards the Messiah bar Ephraim (משׁיח בר אפרים) will emerge and fight a battle with Gog, but Gog will slay him in front of the gate of Jerusalem. Then they (= Israel) will look to Me and seek from Me the reason why the nations have stabbed the Messiah bar Ephraim (משׁיח בר אפרים), and they will mourn him as a father and mother would mourn their only child, and they will grieve for him the way they would grieve for a firstborn.”

Hebrews 13.12: 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

The patriarchal blessing on Joseph metaphorically made Joseph a sort of Saint Sebastian in later rabbinic exegesis, influencing them to interpret the pierced one in Zechariah 12.10 as (a) Joseph(ite) whom the house of David would mourn; in fact, this figure was the Messiah ben/bar Ephraim/Joseph, whom Gog would slay in battle outside the gate of Jerusalem. Joseph was not Israel's biological firstborn, but he did inherit the blessing of the firstborn; thus the weeping for this Josephite figure would be like the weeping for a (deceased) firstborn son.

The possible connection to Jesus/Joshua dying outside the gates of Jerusalem is obvious (Joshua was a Josephite through Ephraim). I feel like a rabbi as I write this, since connections are being made across multiple texts and traditions, but what are the options? These connections were made; the only question is how early they were made.

Did these connections postdate Christianity? In this case, Christian claims about Jesus would be turned into something very similar (a Messiah, the "son of Joseph," called Joshua, who was indeed of the line of Joseph, will be slain outside the gate of Jerusalem), yet slightly different (he will be slain in battle, not crucified as a criminal). Indeed, this Messiah ben Joseph would gather his followers in Galilee, as well, just like the Christian Jesus/Joshua. Was this a way of trying to steal Christianity's thunder, to lay claim to a bit of plausible deniability to the effect that the Christians had gotten it almost right, but not quite? Or is that strategy so risky as to be unlikely on its face? Would it give Christianity way too much ammunition to work with? If Christians had missed the mark so badly with their crucified Galilean Messiah, why not just let them flounder in ignorance? Why deliberately salvage so much of the story for them?

Or did these connections predate Christianity, giving the nascent movement a set of patterns into which to shoehorn its Messiah?

What do you think?
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by John2 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:45 am

Ben, buddy, if you haven't already, when are you going to write a book?

Was this a way of trying to steal Christianity's thunder, to lay claim to a bit of plausible deniability to the effect that the Christians had gotten it almost right, but not quite? … Or did these cnnnections predate Christianity, giving the nascent movement a set of patterns into which to shoehorn its Messiah?

I think you answered your first question with the latter question. If you view Christianity as being a faction of the Fourth Philosophy (as I do), then the reason for its resemblance to later Rabbinic Judaism (and to other Fourth Philosophic factions) with respect messianism is due to all of these groups embracing what Josephus calls Pharisaic notions in Ant. 18.1.6: "These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord." In other words, the only differences between the Fourth Philosophy (including Christianity) and Pharisaic Judaism was the former's opposition to Roman/Herodian rule and the oral Torah. This is why (more moderate) Pharisees opposed the Fourth Philosophy and Christianity; the latter groups, in their respective ways, opposed Roman/Herodian rule and the oral Torah.


Mk. 7:5-13:
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned Jesus: “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders? Instead, they eat with defiled hands” ...

He [Jesus] went on to say, “You neatly set aside the commandment of God to maintain your own tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘The help you would have received from me is Corban’ (that is, a gift committed to God), he is no longer permitted to do anything for his father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by the tradition you have handed down. And you do so in many such matters.”



Ant. 18.1.1:
Such were the consequences of this, that the customs of our fathers were altered, and such a change was made, as added a mighty weight toward bringing all to destruction, which these men occasioned by their thus conspiring together ...


Mk. 8:38 and 14:61-62:

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Again the high priest questioned him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”

“I am,” said Jesus, “and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
If a man among you got no sin upon his hand, let him cast a stone at me for playing in the band.

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